Frazier homers, but Tanaka struggles once again as Yankees drop another series with 5-3 loss to Brewers

On the final day before the All-Star break, the Yankees took on the Brewers Sunday afternoon in the Stadium, with Masahiro Tanaka on the hill trying to make it four consecutive great starts, yet he could not, giving up two early home runs and being chased out of the game in the fifth inning. The Yanks would fight back, but simply left too many runners on base, and would fall in this one 5-3 to continue their drought of not winning series. 

Photo Credit: AP Seth Wenig

Tanaka found himself battling right away, as he has for most of his starts this season. The first two Brewer batters both manufactured base hits to right field to put runners on the corners with nobody out and the middle of the lineup coming up. Tanaka would come back from down 3-0 to strikeout Domingo Santana for the first out of the game, yet the next hitter Travis Shaw would take a 3-2 breaking ball into the seats, and make it 3-0 in the first inning for the second straight game.

Photo Credit: AP Seth Wenig
Brett Gardner would start it off in the first with a walk, bringing up Aaron Judge, who got a rare infield single to put the Yankees in business in the first. Didi would get bailed out after grounding out to second in what was a routine double play ball, yet the defensively challenged Brewers could only get Judge at second, as the throw to first was high, putting runners on the corner with only one away.

Neither Gary Sanchez or Jacoby Ellsbury could deliver the clutch hit the Yanks needed in the first, as the score remained 3-0 after the first. The battering of Tanaka during day games continued in the second inning, as Stephen Vogt started the inning with a solo shot into the Yankee bullpen, making it 4-0.

Photo Credit: AP Seth Wenig
Tanaka tossed back to back scoreless innings in the third and fourth, and in the bottom half of the inning, the Yanks bats finally woke up. After an Ellsbury base hit and stolen base, Chase Headley took a 2-2 pitch down the third base line to score Ellsbury from second and put the Yankees on the board, and was followed by the red hot rookie Clint Frazier. Frazier hitting a walk off yesterday was apparently not enough, as he sent a two run shot into the Yankee bullpen, making it 4-3 going into the fifth.

Tanaka would surrender two more hits to start the fifth, and would leave the game with one out in the inning. Chasen Shreve came in to face the lefty Shaw, and would fail, as Shaw knocked a base hit up the middle scoring the man from second and bringing the Brewers lead to two. Adam Warren would be the next reliever to come out of the bullpen, and struck out both men he faced to keep the game at 5-3.

Tyler Wade ripped a double to the wall in right center to start the bottom of the fifth, yet the top of the order would all strikeout swinging, leaving Wade stranded at second. Warren could not finish the sixth, leaving the game with two on and two out, with Eric Thames coming to the plate. Tyler Webb came in and got Thames to ground out to first to avoid the big inning.

A single by Gary and a walk by Ellsbury once again had the Yanks in business in the sixth. Jimmy Nelson was pulled from the game after walking Ellsbury, as Carlos Torres was brought on to face Headley. Headley was inches away from giving the Yanks the lead, hitting a ball down the right field line that was ruled fair but later reversed on replay. Headley would strike out later on in the at-bat, deflating the crowd after they thought the Yanks took the lead, as neither runner on base would score, keeping it a two run game.

After a Gardner single and stolen base, Judge worked a walk and put the Yanks in a familiar position: two runners on with one out. Gregorius would fly out, and Gary drove a ball to deep right only to be caught by Santana at the wall on a nice play. Chad Green shut it down in the seventh and eighth innings, continuing the strong group performance by the Yankees bullpen this game. In the eighth Headley reached base on a dropped third strike, and soon advanced to second on a wild pitch. With two outs in the eighth, the man who gave up the walk-off home run yesterday Corey Knebel was asked to deliver his team a four out save. 

Judge, Gregorius, and Sanchez would all step to the plate with a chance to possibly tie the game in the ninth, yet all three struck out, ending the game with the final score of 5-3. The Yanks went 1-16 with runners in scoring position in this one, making it nearly impossible for them to get the victory. The Yankees go limping into the All-Star Break at 45-41, and will get some much needed time off before a big four game series in Boston this coming weekend.

Winning Pitcher: Jimmy Nelson: (8-4, 3.30 ERA): 5.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 6 K
Losing Pitcher: Masahiro Tanaka: (7-8, 5.47 ERA): 4.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 5 K
Clint Frazier: 1-4, HR (3), 2 RBI
Chase Headley: 2-4, RBI
Aaron Judge: 1-4, BB
Travis Shaw: 2-3, HR (19), 4 RBI

 Article by: Matt Luzzi 


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